After being sexually assaulted as a young girl every week for four years, Katie Bailey is speaking out about her experience to help abused children find their voice.
The man convicted of the abuse is her older brother, James Bailey, who will be sentenced for his crimes on Thursday and could face 32 years in prison.
NewsChannel 9 does not name victims of sexual assault; however, Bailey chose to speak at a news conference on Monday, speaking as a survivor, not a victim.
“I was going through high school and everyone was going through the process of being a regular person, I thought, having relationships, growing through things, being able to have sex. Doing these things that I could not bring myself to do,” Bailey said.
She was eight years old when her older brother James first sexually assaulted her. He was 17 at the time.
The abuse didn’t stop. It happened every week for four years. Katie stayed silent until she was a senior in high school. The trauma brought on seizures and emotional issues.
“I decided I don’t want to be a scared little girl anymore in this grown body. I’m about to go to college. I had this mindset that I want to change my life,” Bailey said.
Bailey recalls standing in front of her brother and face him and the jury to tell her story. She said it was like nothing she ever had to do in her life.
She says it’s thanks to the McMahon/Ryan Child Advocacy Center, and the detective and prosecutor working her case that made her feel comfortable and ready to move forward.
“I feel happy. I feel so fantastic. It’s unbelievable. You have no idea how well I feel,” Bailey said at the press conference.
Katie says the continued support she’s receiving is helping her pursue a career in criminal justice.
A candlelight vigil for victims of child abuse will be held on Tuesday at 6:30 p.m. at Hendrick’s Chapel on the SU campus.